Likely encouraged by neighboring states moving forward with plans for sports wagering Virginia is putting ambitious revenue goal numbers together, targeting their entry for 2021.
Virginia’s legal sportsbooks could earn as much as $412 million annually, yielding $61.8 million in tax revenue for the state according to projections from VirginiaCasinos.com.
Within the study, the projection forecasts a commanding 90 percent of revenue coming from online wagering, with mobile sports betting apps accounting for $375 million annually when Virginia’s market reaches its full maturity.
Virginia first legalized sports betting in July 2020. The Virginia Lottery regulates the state’s sports wagering industry and aims to license up to 12 different online sportsbook brands. Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 15%. As a goal, the first of the state’s legal sportsbooks could potentially launch in early 2021.
As an advantage, Virginia can learn from states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey in viewing results reflecting the dominating trend and customer preference for online sports wagering. A predicted model that was enhanced in 2020 by the timing of COVID-19 for other US states as well.
The Virginia Lottery will award 12 mobile sports betting licenses, with 4 of those licenses marked for online-only operators who can conduct mobile sports betting without a partnership with a land-based casino.
Virginia voters approved the construction of four retail casinos in a November 2020 vote. Within that bill, allowing four properties that could apply for online sports betting licenses. Richmond voters could approve a fifth land-based casino in the state capital.
Like the online-only operators, retail casino sports betting apps would allow for wagering from anywhere in Virginia.
Analyst for Virginiacasinos.com Geoff Fisk said:
Mobile wagering will dominate the Virginia market. We have seen online sports betting account for around 90% of revenue in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. The ability to offer remote wagering from any location in the state expands the potential of sports betting far beyond the scope of retail casinos.
The online sports betting licenses awarded by the Virginia Lottery will assuredly go to many of the biggest brands involved in the sports betting industry. Over 25 different operators have applied for licenses thus far.
As expected, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel are likely to be included within the Virginia mix. Two other industry giants, BetRivers and William Hill, currently have tie-ins with retail casinos under construction in Virginia and are expected to be major players as well.
Fisk also said:
Virginia should emerge as the next major sports betting market in the US. The proximity to several different pro sports franchises makes it a natural hub for sports betting. The big players in the industry will definitely want their share of that market.
Surrounded by as many as five other US states that either already has legalized sports wagering or making plans for early 2021 entry, it is a sure bet Virginia will be moving rapidly to enter the sports wagering landscape very soon.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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